Lindsay Literary Sponsors Scholarship place

THE Lindsay Literary Agency is delighted to announce that we will once more be sponsoring a fully funded place at Winchester Writers’ Festival, 14th- 16th June 2019. The scholarship place is open to any UK unagented YA or middle grade writer from an under-represented background. Below is a transcript of a Twitter Q&A we held recently and further information on how to apply can be found on the Scholarship page of this website. 

Can you apply if you have already been published? I’m afraid not if you’ve been traditionally published, but self-published is fine.

When is the Deadline? It is Monday, 4th March 2019 at midnight.

Can I submit work that has been previously self-published? Yes you can.

I belong to the Indian ethnic background, however I’m a British Citizen. Do I qualify for this scholarship? Yes you do – anyone from a BAME background who is living in the UK or Ireland can apply.

Some members of my critique group have asked who’s eligible for the scholarship? 

Applicants are asked to self-identify with regard to their under-represented background so we’re taking a very broad approach, but LGBTQIA, BAME, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities are all eligible

Are you accepting new clients? Yes we are – please see our website for details http://www.lindsayliteraryagency.co.uk 

Do you have a preference for picture books/MG/YA? Personally I like all writing for children, but for the scholarship we’re only accepting MG and YA this year.

Who are the judges? Kirsty Stansfield from Nosy Crow, Eishar Brar from Scholastic, Aimee Felone, co-founder of Knights Of, Sue Wallman author of four YA books and Becky Bagnell of Lindsay Literary Agency.

The scholarship looks brilliant! Which industry experts might the winner meet at the festival? That’s a good question – I don’t know if the line up has been finalised for this year, but usually lots of great editors, agents and authors might be there like: Anne Clark, Amber Caraveo, Joe Marriott, Joanna Moult, Kirsty Stansfield, Pamela Butchart etc. 

How do you define under-represented? Groups such as LGBTQIA, BAME, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities are all currently under-represented in UK, but we’re not limiting the scholarship

Will you consider unfinished manuscripts if the writing/concept has potential? The rules state that the manuscript should be finished, but we’re only asking for the first 4,000 words of your work in progress, so it doesn’t need to be the final version as long as the concept is planned out as a first draft

Does a story need to be finished to submit for consideration for the scholarship? Or is a WIP OK? Work in progress is fine – as long as you have a first draft somewhere on your computer and you know where you’re going with the story.

What are your 3 top tips for making the first 4k of a story gripping? I’d say that first something BIG needs to happen OR something unusual to really peak your readers interest. Then you need characters who stand out from the crowd and a STRONG voice.

Do you have a preference for picture books/MG/YA? Personally I like all writing for children, but for the scholarship we’re only accepting MG and YA this year.

Before you attend you can submit your work to be read by ACTUAL EDITORS AND AGENTS who you then get to meet face-to-face to chat about work/ask questions AND you get WRITTEN FEEDBACK. Invaluable!

If you are unpublished or self-published from a BAME background, this fully funded scholarship opportunity to the Winchester Writers’ Festival is for you.

I met my awesome agent at this festival. AND learned about a MILLION things I didn’t know about the children’s book world. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

And is there anything you would say entrants should actively avoid? In your WIP I’d say that a bullying scene or a dream sequence in the first chapter can be a hard sell… editors and agents see this very often and it’s hard to make these work.

What exactly does an under-represented background mean? Groups such as LGBTQIA, BAME, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities are all currently under-represented in UK, but we’re not limiting the scholarship and so if you’ve not seen yourself represented in children books please apply

Hi Becky, not a question but just to say how rewarding Winchester Writers’ Festival is. it’s been a few years now, but it was wonderful.

From what I understood the application for the scholarship should have three attachments – The 4,000 word sample of my work, 500 word statement and 500 word synopsis of my work. Is that correct? Yes that’s right

Why do we need more stories from under-represented writers? Because stories depicting children from underrepresented backgrounds render their experiences and behaviours visible and valuable, which can affect the development of positive self‐concept

Even though the Lindsay Literary scholarship is for MG or YA, are you still interested in receiving PB submissions in your normal submissions inbox? Yes I love picture books so please do keep sending these in.

More good reasons for seeing books from under-represented writers: Children who see themselves represented in books are better able to retain and recall plot and character information after reading such texts. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/socf.12404

I was told by another writer that coming from a single parent family – a working mother- didn’t fall into the category of underrepresented. Is that true? The MC of my current WIP comes from a similar background and has a half-sister.

Thank you for your question – we ask applicants are asked to self-identify with regard to their under-represented background and so although this isn’t one of the most obvious of groups we’re not ruling you out at this stage. If you know the statistics tell us on applying.

Are there any hot themes/topics in mg that you’re looking out for? I would say that anything funny is always in demand, but I’ve not seen any good animal stories for a while…